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How to Create Interactive Web Page Content

by Tim Rimington | April 2, 2012

Fans of typography often argue that visually-pleasing web page text will engage readers so long as the subject matter is fun and interesting. Early publishers acknowledged the importance of visually pleasing typography when they introduced drop caps as a way of grabbing the reader's attention and leading their eye to the beginning of a paragraph. But web page text needs to be extraordinarily good to achieve high page view time. So rather than going for a slam dunk with your copywriting, there are other ways to keep readers on your page.

Granted, emotive text is sometimes all that's required to retain a reader's attention, but if your readers aren't already fans of what you provide, then I'm of the opinion that you're facing an uphill battle to keep readers engaged. Good copywriters will do their best, but maybe it's time to introduce some excitement to your pages?

Interactive content will increase the time that visitors spend on each page of your website. Video is an obvious form of engagement but isn't really a means for visitors to interact with your page content. So what is?

As with all forms of effective copywriting, keep your most important text up top, with suitable headings that work to grab a reader's attention. But don't divulge the entire story. Keep back interesting nuggets of information, and work at using your main body of text as a form of "teaser". Then weave into your main body text, hyperlinks that when clicked, open appropriately styled frames of either text, images or video that explain that particular passage of text further (known as "inline content").

Flash infographics are another way for your visitors to interact with your web pages. Although considered costly to design and develop, Flash is an effective way to engage visitors with special page content. The only drawback of Flash is that not all mobile devices display Flash, so consider your visitors by looking at your Google Analytics traffic sources/platforms used first. A better way to achieve something similar can be seen at the 'Envisioning Technology website by using HTML, CSS and Javascript.

There are many ways to introduce interactive media on your pages. The use of 'Lightview' is one good example, as is implimenting inline content for use on your own website. Check it out here:

Finally, placing image thumbs within text can work a treat. When users click on your image thumbs, the action can open short video snippets that further emphasise your message. You can even create entire photo galleries that could be used to highlight specific functionality or features of a product without having to display 6 or so thumbs across the page. So, one image thumb, click and display an entire gallery or video. Mediabox provides plenty of options to explore, check it out!

So my advice is, retire your web pages of boring, plain text, and replace them with newly designed, interactive content that engages your readers and leads them to the target on the page: your call to action. Move beyond embedded page video and image galleries, and introduce elements that better engage your visitors.

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